What is Medical Laboratory Science?
The Medical Laboratory Scientist (MLS) perform laboratory tests on body fluids and tissues which aid in the diagnosis of disease and management of health. The scope of practice includes collection and processing of specimens, performance of a broad range of analytical procedures, quality control, and reporting of test results. Medical laboratory professionals may work in several different areas of the clinical laboratory including:
- Clinical chemistry: analyzing chemical substances present in the blood that may aid in the diagnosis of a variety of diseases such as diabetes, strokes, heart attacks, liver and kidney diseases.
- Blood banking: involving the determination of a patient's blood type and the preparation of blood products such as packed red blood cells and plasma that can be safely transfused to the patient
- Hematology: examining microscopically abnormal cells and determining diseases affecting blood such as anemia, leukemias or lymphomas
- Microbiology: identifying the microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, fungi, parasite that cause the disease and determining the susceptibility of these pathogens to antibiotics (for treatment)
- Immunology: examining the degree of immunity or resistance to disease and assisting in studies for organ transplantation
- Coagulation: analyzing blood to find causes for abnormal bleeding or clotting and monitoring the anticoagulant therapy in patients who have had a heart attack or strokes
- Urinalysis: involving chemical and cellular analysis of urine
- Toxicology: the identification of toxic substances and drugs in body fluids
Who should consider this profession?
Do you enjoy solving puzzles and problems? Do you enjoy "hands on" work. If you do, then Medical Laboratory Science could be the carrier profession for you. This profession is appropriate for anyone with a strong interest in science who enjoys working independently and wants a health career with minimal patient contact.